For now, Giambi content to just watch at BP

February 28, 2010 | 12:35 am  

TUCSON — Legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell used to say of a batter who took a third strike: “He stood there like the house by the side of the road and watched that one go by.” That reference came to mind watching Jason Giambi on Friday and most of Saturday.

By design, Giambi watched every pitch he saw and never took a swing Friday when he took batting practice for the first time this spring. Seth Smith, who like Giambi is a left-handed hitter off the bench, was hitting with Giambi and Paul Lo Duca was behind the plate. Lo Duca was there again Saturday, and Smith was beside the batting cage, watching Giambi track a succession of pitches.

Giambi took the field Saturday, saying he intended not to swing for a second day but late in batting practice changed his mind. One swing against Jorge De La Rosa produced a positive result and showed that even in the earliest days of spring training, Giambi always has a plan at home plate.

Read more about Giambi in Jack’s story for the Associated Press.